I don’t watch the news and I’ve been away recently, so I’m just catching up with the passing of Prince. I pushed the boundaries of my You Tube addiction last night to watch some of the tributes to him and some of his own performances, going back to the 1980s. I had ‘Purple Rain’ going round in my head all night.
A few weeks ago I found myself checking my reactions to men-with-men on a porn site, to feel into any latent homosexual tendencies I might have. It did nothing for me. I did decide I wouldn’t rule out falling in love with a man, though it hasn’t happened since the odd teenage crush many decades ago.
But Prince always stirred something in me and I felt it last night. I loved his flamboyance, his creative use of costume, his power on stage, his raunchy music, and I loved his androgynous look, so feminine in some ways and yet he oozed masculine sexuality and women went crazy for him, as he did for them.
So what does this say about me? I definitely have a disowned performer who loves to dress flamboyantly, maybe even to cross dress, although that may be a step too far. Friends tell me I verge on being camp. This part of me is drawn so strongly to everything about Prince. Maybe I was once a little bit in love with him – and it feels like a confession to put all this in writing and post it.
I was ‘used’ at my boarding school as a substitute female, objectified and psychologically traumatized. Though only physically abused once, I lived in fear of it for several years. I worked hard on and off the sports field to prove my masculinity; but underneath the boys must have sensed my more feminine side and taken advantage of it. I went on to art school and this was 1970-73, the time of flower power, hippies and long hair; so I got to dress more wildly then, without being called a freak. I still dress more flamboyantly than a lot of men, though the prospect of getting up on stage still fills me with terror.I care too much what other people think of me and I experience shame way too easily.
All this is part of who I am; so in seeking to live my truth and be in my power, I need to fully own and blend, somehow, my gender and my heterosexuality with my underlying sense of androgeny, my sensitivity with my passion and anger, my quiet spiritual seeker with my flamboyant performer (still largely disowned), and I want to outgrow my shame by not caring what others think.
Prince is an inspiration to me in so many ways. He was so creative and original, so confident in being who he was; he lived for music and music making, he loved women and loved sex, he came totally alive in front of an audience. And now he’s dead. I don’t want to BE Prince, I never could be; but I do want to be King……. King of my own domain.